Positive HPAI Cases In Minnesota Goats, Cows From Texas, Kansas
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Agriculture departments in three states are responding to confirmed positive cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in livestock, calling for increased vigilance to protect animal health while stressing that America’s food supply is still secure.

Officials in Texas and Kansas both confirmed Monday that the H5N1 influenza strain had been detected at five dairy cattle operations, where mysterious illnesses were first reported.  Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller said in a statement that the situation presents yet another hurdle for farmers in a Texas panhandle still coming to terms with the damage from last month’s wildfires.  Also on Monday, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health announced that a newborn goat tested positive for HPAI.  Officials there say that the goat shared a pasture and pond with poultry where an outbreak of HPAI had occurred earlier in February, and the farmer there noticed an unusually large mortality rate among newborn goats.  At the present time, the strain has not shown the ability to be transmitted between mammals or from farm animals to humans.

Animal health officials including those in Missouri are assuring consumers that rigorous safety measures and pasteurization protocols ensure that dairy products remain unaffected by HPAI.  Of note, milk from any unhealthy cow is dumped and does not enter the supply chain.  However, they remind producers to keep poultry separate from their other livestock and provide separate water and roaming areas.  They also remind producers to make sure migratory birds do not commingle with any of their livestock, and to remain vigilant for any sudden changes in their animals’ health and condition.

Anyone in Missouri who suspects an infection from highly pathogenic avian influenza or any other illness is asked to consult with local veterinarians as well as the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Health at 573-751-3377.

Click here for the Department’s avian influenza information page.